Sunday I have a family meal. We meet because my sister who lives all year abroad comes to visit us (I can’t wait). For this occasion I decided to cook French. I know that French cuisine has an image of refined and sometimes complicated cuisine, but I intend to counter this preconceived idea with this recipe.
Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic:
A 1.5kg chicken bridle, gutted and of course plucked
40 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cider
1 cup white wine (250ml)
Place the grill at the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Place the chicken in a large casserole. Rub the chicken with the vinegar. Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken. Let stand 15 minutes.
Place the garlic cloves around the chicken and add the wine. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove the lid. Baste the chicken with the cooking juices. Continue cooking uncovered for 45 minutes or until the chair easily detaches from the bone and the chicken is golden brown. (If you don’t have much time, you can oil and butter a pressure cooker and cook your chicken in it for 15 minutes and it’s ready.)
Personally, I will serve my dish with slices of toasted country bread to spread on the cooked garlic, a green salad and mashed potatoes
I hope you enjoy this little recipe as much as we do! Take care of yourself and your loved ones and see you soon!
I share with you a long slice of life but if you are only interested in the recipe, you will easily find it in the middle of the text.
Théo and I were doing our shopping, bickering about a story of cereals… in short, he grabbed me in his arms and kissed me to retrieve his precious box when a lady appeared at the other end of the ray, her eyes were round like saucers. A little embarrassed, I moved away, pointing out to Theo that we were being watched.
Theo looked surprised as he turned around. I was surprised when the lady approached and took Theo in her arms.
It was Jenna, his mom. Normally she lives on the other side of town. She wanted to surprise him but seeing his apartment empty, she assumed he was at work. She had therefore wanted to do some shopping to make him eat for his return when she surprised us.
I offered to step aside so they could spend some time together but Jenna said “out of the question!”. That now that she had the reason why her son had been smiling stupidly for weeks, I wasn’t going to get away with it and then that it was time for me to taste Georgian hospitality by showing me her shopping, there had enough for a regiment. (Theo and Jenna are Georgian. They arrived in Denmark when Theo was 13). Theo was embarrassed in turn, he, who always looks confident, I admit that it made me laugh to see him in this uncomfortable position.
In sign language he told me behind his mom’s back that he was sorry for what I was going to suffer… When Jenna surprised him gesticulating.
She asked me to tell her what he said behind her back. I could have lied and told her that he had just translated her speech for me, but I found it funnier to tell the truth. And then it’s not nice to lie!
Theo was horrified to see my little betrayal.
Jenna burst out laughing, saying:
“I really like her!”
I finally suggested that we go to my house, my kitchen being much better equipped than Theo’s, which was only composed of a microwave and a rusty gas stove.
Arrived at home Theo rushed to close the door of my room to hide the particularly unmade bed following our night… (this is another story that we will keep private!)
For the rest Jenna was obsessed with my kitchen. At first glance, she understood that I was a big fan of cooking a point that, I would quickly understand, we had in common.
We prepared prime ribs. I took care of marinating it and Jenna made us a side dish with beets.
125ml balsamic vinegar
60ml soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tbs olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ts. onion powder
1 ts Worcestershire sauce
Let them marinate for at least 2 hours (ideally they should be marinated for 24 hours.)
Buraczki zasmażane (I have no idea how it’s said, it’s Polish):
500g cooked beets
2 tbs of butter
2 tbs of flour
1 tbs lemon juice or vinegar
1 tbs of sugar
125ml single cream (Jenna used heavy cream)
Peel the beets and grate them with a small-hole grater.
In a skillet, prepare the roux by melting the butter and sprinkling it with flour. Stir. Lightly brown. Add a glass of water and cook over low heat, stirring, until the preparation becomes thick and smooth.
Then add the beets, lemon juice and sugar. Mix well and simmer for ten minutes.
Just before serving, add the cream and mix well.
a bit of dill to finish
According to Jenna, this Polish recipe is perfect with beef, lamb and game. Personally, I think I will serve it cold with summer barbecues.
We talked a lot, I had the right to lots of crisp anecdotes about Theo’s childhood and their life in Georgia.
She made us donuts at tea time and we drank jasmine tea all afternoon, it was so good! (I’ve never been to the toilet as much as that night >.<).
I think I clearly fell in love with Theo’s mother. I felt like she was reading me like an open book. She understood I’ve lost a parent just seeing me touching my neckless when she talk about Theo’s dad (it is a gift of my mom), she must be a wizard. I now know where her son’s generosity and kindness comes from.
The day was wonderful with Jenna but now I have a little pressure, I will now have to introduce Theo to dad so that we are even. Hope it goes well!
Daddy drop your shotgun!
Take care of yourself and your loved ones! see you soon!
Lately I’ve had the flu so I’m more or less bedridden. To pass the time between two sneezes, I took the opportunity to discover some old games and I came across “Strife: Quest for the Sigil” finally I play its reissue which allows you to easily play it in HD on Steam and without tweaking his PC “Strife: Veteran Edition”.
The Steam page talks about Strife as a classic released in 1996 but for my part, I talked about it around me, no one seems to know this game even though it seems to me to have some great qualities for the time.
Strife: Precursor to Deus Ex
In addition to having been forgotten by everyone when he invented many mechanics that will have brought glory to his descendants, Strife had a complicated development.
A complicated genesis:
In 1992 Scott Host created a video game studio in Chicago called Cygnus Interactive, whose most famous game was a Shoot them up called Raptor call of the shadows in 1994. At the same time Scott and one of his colleagues are starting to work on a 3d game project called Second Sword. Upon learning this, ID Software, the creators of Wolfnstein, Doom, Quake (in short, the fps gods of the time) decided to contact them to offer them a deal which basically said:
“You’re good, Raptor was a good game. So instead of tinkering with a technically outdated thing, come join us in Texas and we’ll give you the engine of Doom.”
A difficult proposition for Scott to refuse. Unfortunately, the transition is proving difficult. The new project being much more complex than Second Sword, the studio had to hire a lot. This change of scale, coupled with the stress of the move, results in serious interpersonal problems within Cygnus. Annoyed, Scott drops the case and returns to Chicago. The other employees stay in Dallas and found Rogue Entertainment, which will continue the development of this new project: Strife. But the delay was substantial and when the game finally came out in May 1996, it was already overtaken by the competition. Duke Nukem 3D arrived earlier this year, Quake will be released a month later. A game using Doom’s engine, I guess immediately come across as cheesy.
A revolution :
However, when you play it again in 2023, you realize that Strife was a good game. Where interaction in Duke Nukem 3D boiled down to slipping bills into strippers’ underwear and, in id games, to empty magazines into the heads of the dreadful people who rushed at us (finally in the belly it also worked since there was no localization of the damage), Strife already offered a city populated by passers-by going about their business, merchants of equipment and care, NPCs giving main and secondary quests and especially enemies whose behavior depended on the context: the guards of the Order (local equivalent of the Galactic Empire, against which stands a rebellion that will join the protagonist) did not attack on sight but only when the alarm was triggered or the player entered a prohibited area. Areas that otherwise were linked to each other like those of a Half-Life, the smooth transitions between levels giving the impression of a single vast open space.
Of course, Strife wasn’t perfect. In wanting to create realistic environments with an engine as limited as that of Doom, Rogue has sometimes crashed: the sets remain very abstract (hence the omnipresence of panels which are there to remind us that such a building is a prison or a power plant) and we sometimes come across guys who seem to have chosen to take up residence in secret passages. While the game world is open, it’s also quite small, with a single village that acts as the central area. And even if the scenario contains some good ideas – in particular an unexpected twist halfway through – it remains b-movies or z-movies next to the Hollywood staging of that of Half-Life or the quality of writing of Deus Ex.
But above all, playing Strife in 2023 allows you to enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of placing it back in the history of video games, to notice how this FPS-RPG, revolutionary on many points, is a “transition game”, both very modern and filled with clichés inherited from the first FPS. There is a weapon to assemble like in Hexen, teleporters and cupboards that make enemies appear right behind the player like in the cheapest level of Doom… And all these elements, a little outdated perhaps, make also from Strife a kind of lungfish, a weird thing stuck between two stages of evolution, unique and a little farted but not devoid of charm.
I really had a good moment in front this game so I hope if you try it you will have the same!
Have a good day, take care of yourself and your loved ones and see you soon!
I’ve been dating someone for a few weeks. His name is Theoden, he’s a firefighter, a rock enthusiast (yes, I’m crazy about a drummer, what a cliche!) and draws really well (he made me want to get back into it, maybe I’ll post something on which I am working on at the moment but it takes time). We met when they needed an interpreter after finding a lost child who happened to be deaf. He was the only one in the barracks who didn’t try to flirt with me by flexing his muscles. It was his humor that made me crack at first, but what made me want to go further is that he is deeply kind and very cultured.
His friends at the brigade learned that I love to cook and in a joking tone they challenged me to cook for them, challenge accepted!
To help me in my task I have my little brother Søren come for the weekend. I invited him for this “event” because I know that fire trucks fascinate all boys.
The first part of the challenge already comes from the choice of the recipe. Several times when I went to see Theo there (yes, I play taxi drivers, he doesn’t have his car license. He drives a motorcycle but this one is in the garage), I understood that in his team, the sun is starting to fail for some.
They are big guys who eat well, so we needed something that holds well.
I have a relatively tight budget given their number but I am used to cooking for not very expensive.
For these reasons, I decided to go with an exotic dish reminiscent of travel and the sun, a typical dish from New Orleans (I have wanted to cook Cajun since my grandmother made me reread the Mayfair saga Witches for our play. ^^’), the Gumbo. I chose a Chicken Gumbo because I was told to avoid seafood.
Prepare a brown roux: In Louisiana they do it with oil instead. I didn’t have any on hand so I made it with butter. In a saucepan, melt the butter. When it is melted, add the flour and spices then mix. Cook, stirring all the time, until it turns brown. Book.
Cut the smoked sausages into rounds. Heat a skillet and brown the sausages for about 3 minutes on each side. The idea is not to cook them but to lightly grill them.
Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts into cubes. When the sausage slices have grilled well, remove them from the pan and brown the diced chicken for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Book.
Split the peppers in half, remove the stem, ribs and seeds. Wash them and cut them. Peel and chop the onion. Wash the celery stalk and cut it into cubes, do the same with the carrots. Peel and press the garlic clove.
Return the roux to the heat in a cast iron casserole dish. When it is hot, wet with the liter of water, little by little. Stir constantly and bring to a low boil. Then add the vegetables, the diced chicken and sausage.
Cover and cook for 45 minutes over low heat and covered. At the end of this time, uncover and simmer for about twenty minutes uncovered. (For a shrimp or crayfish gumbo, omit the meat and poach them in the sauce 5 to 6 minutes before the end.)
Meanwhile, prepare the rice by immersing it in a large volume of water. Let it cook for the time indicated on the package.
Serve in the same container the rice and the meat, and drizzle with broth.
We all had a great time and all the members of the team present surprised me by learning a few signs in sign language, with more or less talent, but it touched me a lot. I was invited to become their regular cook so maybe I will do it again!
At the end we showed Søren around the hangar, it didn’t last long then everyone had to leave for an intervention but I will never forget the stars in his eyes when they let him fly from one of the trucks.
My Theo hold a blog because of me! He talks about Rock music and his social impact to the world. There is olso some of his drawings, please take a look 😉 (there is a cartoony portrait of me! :D)
From indifference to oblivion, there is only one step. And this short distance, I believe I am in the process of crossing it; time is counted. My name is Julius Larsen. Thirty-nine years old, of Danish nationality. Events have just happened here that are beyond reason. That’s why, before everything unravels in the mists of my conscience, I want to report on this laptop what I saw with my own eyes. I don’t invent anything. All of the following has indeed taken place.
With Amelia my partner and two other couples of friends, we spent pleasant days off in this large house with swimming pool, rented in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in France. We were surrounded by nature, the climate was ideal, the atmosphere was fine. It was my best vacation in a long time. Yesterday morning, waking up before everyone else, I was having a coffee on the terrace when I saw Willow, my Australian Shepherd, behaving abnormally. While moaning, the dog crawled and cast towards the blue of the sky distraught glances that I did not understand. Stunned, I then witnessed an incredible phenomenon: a gigantic mass was positioning itself, slow and silent, about thirty meters above the villa. As the sun grew almost warm, I found myself shivering in a huge puddle of shadow.
My first instinct was to leave the terrace to reach the interior of the house where I alerted my comrades, screaming like a madman. The household was still asleep, except for Amelia who, from the bathroom, asked me why I was bawling like that. Five minutes later, our entire group was gathered in the living room, in disbelief, eyes still puffy with sleep, craned their necks behind the glazing to stare at the stationary object. It was a disc of considerable diameter, smooth as marble; its deep black surface reflected no light. One of us had the idea of phoning the gendarmerie who could have provided us with explanations, but our mobile lines were no longer working. We were there, nervous, going around in circles without being able to agree on what to do next when, suddenly, several cables fell from the UFO along which strange silhouettes slipped. Their descent was so brief that we didn’t have time to detail them. One fact, however, seemed to us irrefutable: these living organisms were not of human form; rather spidery. Among us, some have lost their means. Linda, Amelia’s long-time friend, broke down in tears, while Hans, her husband, white as a sheet, urged us to get to the cellar without delay to barricade ourselves there.
Coming from an adjoining room, the din of a smashed French window suddenly made us jump. From that moment, guided by their survival instinct, everyone went to take refuge where they could, without worrying about others. For my part, I found shelter at the bottom of a cupboard in the kitchen where, curled up in the middle of cleaning products, my heart beating at a maddening speed, I waited. After a few seconds abominable cries reached me, accompanied by noises of struggle which froze my blood. Helpless in my hiding place, I recognized the voices of my friends. They implored, struggled, screamed in terror, formed a desperate chorus, unbearable to hear. Then, one after another, the mouths fell silent to make way for silence. Eloquent and heavy. I was probably the only survivor. The next few minutes were the longest of my entire life. I was shaking so hard that it seemed impossible not to be spotted and slaughtered like the others. While I was preparing for the worst, no one came to dislodge me from this storage room.
Blinded by the ambient light, my limbs numb, I finally left my hole. How long was I there? I couldn’t tell, but when I got to my feet, I noticed he was floating in the air like the smell of blood. On tiptoe, shortness of breath, I crossed the kitchen to approach the half-open door leading into the living room. The scene I saw should have overwhelmed me; however I managed to control myself and stay on my feet, wondering where I could draw this courage. To speak of a nightmare would be to lie. We were beyond. In a form of ultimate, superhuman horror. A delirious pandemonium, close to those hallucinated visions painted by Jérôme Bosch. In the middle of the room stood five creatures, huge gray insects consisting of a potbellied bladder-like body mounted on six slender legs. About five feet tall, they remained motionless, busy slowly devouring what remained of their prey. The victims’ clothes and shoes had been left in a corner. As I strained my ears, a chilling sound came to me: the muffled sound of crushed bones under their mandibles. I thought I was really fainting when I saw the severed heads of my comrades lying on the ground between their hideous limbs. In each of their mouths was introduced a long flagellum connected to the body of the monster. These slender, shiny appendages seemed to hold the faces in a sort of semi-consciousness, a shred of life. Beneath the half-open eyelids the tarnished irises of their eyes moved weakly. I then saw Amelia’s severed head. From a distance, pale and tragic, my beloved stared at me. Suddenly, as if trying to warn me, her bloodless lips came alive. I thought I could stay in control of my emotions, but this time I couldn’t. Around me everything became blurred, I collapsed and lost consciousness.
Lying on one of the sofas in the living room where I had been installed, I recovered my senses. My first act was to check if I had lost anything; when I saw that everything was fine, I relaxed. Turning my head towards the French window opening onto the terrace, I recognized my five friends. They were sitting in the sun, peaceful, in the physical aspect that I had always known them. The huge dark lid no longer crowned the house, as for the carnage that had taken place in the room, there was no trace left. Did I have a bad dream? I was beginning to believe him. In order to get to the bottom of it, I went to the kitchen to put my nose in this narrow little room where I thought I had hidden. In fact, I observed an abnormal disorder there; everything was upside down. I then wanted to join my companions outside. Before the attack, our band was the gayest imaginable; talkative, playful and restless. I found a static assembly there, strangely disciplined and silent. Seeing me move forward, everyone turned their heads towards me without saying a word, then resumed their posture. Insensitive, distant. A revealing detail nevertheless jumped out at me: my friends had exchanged their clothes, which was not at all in our practice. I concluded that after taking on human appearance, the creatures got dressed without worrying about any consistency in clothing. The situation should have alarmed me, made me run off at full speed. Instead, I felt nothing but blissful indifference.
Who can tell me what happened while I slept? If I was spared, why do my emotions fade away in favor of this cold force that I cannot name? This is the state of uncertainty in which I am floating at the moment. But from above will soon come the truth. Because at the time when I finish this story, an incredible spectacle unfolds before my eyes: in the distance, large dark discs hover silently above the sunny countryside. They are thousands. The sky is clear. I feel nothing.
I hope you liked this story.I love this post format but it took me a lot of time so maybe i will post those story less often in the future but I will not stop it. I just need a bit more time to rest after work and with friends and family for now.
Take care of yourself and your loved one and see you soon!
To draw up an exhaustive list of FPS (or rather “Doom-like”, as we said at the time) released after Doom is totally futile. Let’s try instead to make a chronological selection to understand the influence of Doom on the history of video games in general, and shooters in particular.
1994: The Clones The release of Doom had the effect of an electric shock. In the eyes of developers and enthusiasts, id Software had just pushed a frontier, creating a space for games that no one would have dared to imagine before, rich in possibilities. In the eyes of publishers, he had made first-person games the center of attention, had made them the fashionable genre, which guaranteed a good return on investment. In the twelve months following the release of Doom, taking into account only games published, distributed and tested by the specialized press, we arrive at an average of more than one shooter every two weeks.
Operation Body Count (Capstone Software, march 1994, PC MS-DOS)
As you can imagine, most of the games that have sought to capitalize on the release of Doom have turned out to be mediocre, if not to say crap. Listing them would be both tedious and pointless, so let’s just cite for the record – or rather shoot for example – the catastrophic Operation Body Count. A member of the special forces sent alone (?) to liberate the UN building which has been invaded by terrorists (??) and whose basements are invaded by giant rats (???), OBC pulls off the fine performance of to be as bad at the level of its gameplay as its engine, a doctored and incredibly slow version of that of Wolfenstein 3D. In the big poo contest, honorable mention to Corridor 7: Alien Invasion – it’s almost the same game but in space, spawned by the same developer and released in the same month. This is called wanting to saturate the market.
Alien vs. Predator (Rebellion, octobre 1994, Jaguar)
Certainly, Alien vs. Predator wasn’t very good, and its gameplay paled in comparison to Doom’s. But the FPS of Rebellion (which will transform the test with the reboot of 1999) was all the same one of the rare FPS of the post-Doom period to try something original, with its three characters with radically different gameplays. For the record, and to stay in film adaptations, let’s also note Super 3D Noah’s Ark, a Christian game using the Wolfenstein 3D engine in which players feed the animals on board Noah’s ark. What relationship with cinema? Well, the studio behind the game, Wisdom Tree, had originally acquired the rights to the horror movie Hellraiser, which they intended to adapt. But development lagged, and when Doom came out, the makers realized they couldn’t beat id Software in 3D gore. They then decided to refocus on the Christian gaming market.
Marathon (Bungie, December 1994, Macintosh)
If Doom proved to the world that the PC had a future in video games, Marathon did the same for the Macintosh – and finished making the FPS the “genre killer” that a platform had to have to be credible. Qualified at the time as “Doom of the Mac”, the very nice second FPS from Bungie, the future creators of Halo, (the first being the fun but still very limited Pathways into Darkness) has long enraged PC owners , disgusted at not being able to play one of the only worthwhile Doom clones.
Rise of the Triad (Apogee Software, December 1994, PC MS-DOS)
Fired from id Software a few months before the release of Doom, Tom Hall of course did not intend to stop there. Quickly recovered by Scott Miller, who offered him to work directly for Apogee, and now totally free, he decided to create his own FPS. The result will be called Rise of the Triad, and will use a heavily modified version of the Wolfenstein 3D engine, with outdoor passages and dynamic bullet holes on the walls (a feat that the Doom engine was incapable of). Always so whimsical, the creator of Keen, breaking with what was the norm since Wolfenstein 3D, created the first FPS-comedy, with absurd levels, full of trampolines and bonuses that turn the player into a dog or make him bounce against the walls. Curiously, if Tom Hall gave certain names imagined for his “Doom bible”, like Thi Barrett, to the protagonists of RoTT, he did not take advantage of his newfound freedom to create the scripted FPS that he would have wanted Doom to be. RoTT is a very classic shooter, with a succession of more or less abstract levels and a scenario-pretext, a dark story of a millenarian sect entrenched on an isolated island.
Heretic (Raven Software, December 1994, PC MS-DOS)
Who better than id Software to compete with id Software? As Carmack began work on what would become Quake’s engine, John Romero, who enjoyed people’s company more, took advantage of his newfound notoriety to multiply projects. Bombed producer of the new game of his old friends from Raven Software, a medieval fantasy action-RPG, he encouraged them, as before at id, to favor purity and speed rather than complexity. The result: Heretic, a medieval take on Doom that, aside from adding inventory and the ability to raise and lower its head (at the cost of a gross tech hack that Carmack would never have tolerated), looked like furiously to his model, with a magic wand as a pistol and an enchanted crossbow as a shotgun.
1995: Diversification The evolution between Heretic and its sequel Hexen, released in October 95 and full of innovative ideas in an FPS, such as non-linear levels and character classes, is a good summary of the gap between the first and the second generation of Doom-like. While the first, that of 94, was content to imitate the canonical model created by id Software, the second had understood that, in order to find a place in the sea of shooters which swept over the PC shelves of distributors, it was necessary to offer something original.
Dark Forces (LucasArts, February 1995, PC MS-DOS)
It is said to be the Star Wars mod for Doom that gave LucasArts the idea for Dark Forces. Whether that’s true or not, Dark Forces, like all games developed by LucasArts during its heyday, was close to a masterpiece. If it has remained in history above all for its graphic quality, the diversity of its levels and their fidelity to the sets of the series (and of course as ancestor of the Jedi Knight, whose first episode will be released in 97), it also offered an impressive 3D engine, including platforms and mobile structures totally out of reach of Doom’s. A remarkable performance for an engine developed internally by a company with no experience in the FPS, and which proves once again that the shooter had become the genre to explore for all developers.
The Terminator: Future Shock (Bethesda Softworks, February 1995, PC MS-DOS)
Determined to wring the Terminator license to the last drop, Bethesda has pushed the limits of the era’s technology with The Terminator: Future Shock, made in true textured 3D, with open levels and the ability to look into all the senses using the mouse. Critically acclaimed upon its release, Future Shock almost should have taken Quake’s place in video game history. But it was too slow, too poorly optimized, to deliver the kind of technical slap that made id productions legendary. Descent (Parallax Software, March 1995, PC MS-DOS) also offered real 3D levels, and exploited them in an interesting way, placing the player at the controls of a ship capable of moving and turning in all directions. .
Duke Nukem 3D (3D Realms, Jan 1996, PC MS-DOS)
The first game to exploit the full potential of Ken Silverman’s Build Engine (Witchaven and Tekwar, released the previous year, were less convincing), Duke Nukem 3D replaced Apogee (which developed it under its 3D Realms label) at the center of attention. Ken Silverman, meanwhile, was quickly presented by the press as the great rival of John Carmack. Opposition a little artificial but interesting because if the two men had in common to be young prodigies of the code (Silverman was then just 20 years old), everything else opposed them. Carmack was obsessed with purity, and refused to add a feature if it required adding a single line of inelegant code – which is why he hated the Build Engine. Silverman, on the other hand, wanted results, and stuffed his engine with crappy tinkering: hidden teleporters that give the illusion of superimposed rooms, sprites drawn parallel to the ground to create pools of blood… Show off, but show off works: the city environments of Duke Nukem 3D seem much more alive than those of Doom, the game is acclaimed and the Build Engine becomes the new fashionable engine: Blood, Redneck Rampage, Shadow Warrior and so many others will use it . This will not prevent Ken Silverman from forfeiting seeing Quake: convinced that he could never compete with Carmack, he will abandon the creation of 3D engines.
1996-1998: Hegemony The FPS triumphed. As before it, the cinema had ended up replacing the theatre, real-time subjective 3D gaming, long seen as a technical curiosity intended to have fun between two rounds of “real” games, has become the norm. In a magnificent example of convergent evolution, all the other genres are gradually starting to come close to it: the old croutons of SSI abandon the dungeon crawlers square by square in favor of real-time movement, Bethesda pushes the limits of the game of computer role with Arena and its 9 million square kilometer virtual kingdom. The catalog of Sony’s PlayStation, released in 1994, is stuffed with 3D action games, and returns the Super Nintendo and the Megadrive to the rank of children’s toys. The software even begins to bend the hardware: with the S3 ViRGE (1994), the Matrox Mystique (1995), the ATI 3D Rage and the 3Dfx Voodoo (1996), appear components exclusively dedicated to the display of universes in 3D. The FPS is so ubiquitous that little Americans are surprised to discover, instead of the traditional toy offered with their Chex cereal, a CD-Rom containing Chex Quest, a non-violent FPS created with the Doom engine.
Quake (id Software, Jun 1996, PC MS-DOS)
In the interviews he gave to the press during the development of Quake, John Romero, faithful to his character, chained bombastic remarks, such as “Quake will not be a game, it will be a cultural movement”, or “Quake will be to Doom what Doom was to Wolfenstein 3D” – so much so that the rest of id Software eventually asked him to tone it down, lest players be disappointed with the finished product. Yet, and even if it was not obvious at the time of its release, Quake was to Doom what Doom was to Wolfenstein 3D, and even more. Not necessarily in terms of gameplay: Quake wasn’t a major evolution from Doom, due to chaotic development where, after trying to move away from FPS again but unable to choose a direction, id ended up create a 1992 fashionable shooter again, without even an inventory. But on a technical level, Quake is probably one of the most important titles in history, almost the common ancestor of all modern video games. First to offer, with correct performance, a true 3D environment with believable physics, Quake has realized, certainly in the service of an ultra-simplistic gameplay, the dream of Warren Spector and other creators of immersive sims: a coherent virtual world, operating according to its own rules. The QuakeWorld update (December 1996) then laid the foundations for all modern network code, with game over TCP/IP and prediction to compensate for the latency of connections, allowing game over the Internet under good conditions. Finally, GLQuake (January 1997), a draft of what would become Quake II, took full advantage of OpenGL and early 3D accelerator cards. The posterity of the Quake engine has been considerable, and portions of its code (notably that used for collision detection) are still used today, among others in Call of Duty and Valve’s Source engine.
Unreal (Epic Games, May 1998, Windows PC, Mac)
While Apogee/3D Realms and id Software seemed to monopolize the FPS, the other shareware heavyweight of the early 1990s, Epic Megagames (more modestly renamed Epic Games), is making an impressive comeback with Unreal and its incredible engine. 3D created by Tim Sweeney. First serious competitor to that of Quake, then used by almost all FPS, it marks the beginning of the end of id Software’s monopoly on 3D engines. With the Unreal Engine and Monolith’s LithTech Engine, released a year earlier but a little less impressive, John Carmack’s technological supremacy comes to an end. Other programmers have done, and will continue to do, as well as or better than him. It is also the end of a romantic era where a single individual, equivalent to a Newton or an Einstein, is able to push back the limits of the possible. 3D engines will become more and more complex and, like scientific research during the 20th century, the work of teams and no longer of isolated geniuses. In 2010, 40 people worked full-time on the development of the Unreal Engine. They are now 250.
Half-Life (Valve Software, November 1998, Windows PC)
If Doom demonstrated the technical viability of the 3D action game, Half-Life, which used a modified version of Quake’s engine, proved that it could also tell a story. No perspective other than that of an FPS could have given Half-Life its Hollywood blockbuster vibe. Even the best cinematic platformers seemed ridiculous next to these pursuits in a laboratory overrun with monsters after a failed experiment (well, then…), this brilliant scenario which made the player bear the responsibility for the disaster, this cutting into various sequences at the amazing level design. The long hallucinatory sequence shot that constitutes a part of Doom or Quake would no longer be enough. From now on, the FPS would need a scenario, a cutting, a staging. Gradually, until the true interactive feature film that will constitute Call of Duty (2003), the FPS will become more cinematographic. Even id Software will end up giving up its obsession with pure gameplay: Doom 3, the 2004 reboot, with its NPCs and its various sections built on a very rigorous progression, resembles Half-Life much more than the game of 1993. With Half-Life, the Tom Hall approach ended up winning: players really needed “a better reason to go through the levels than a switch to find”.
Quake III and Unreal Tournament (id Software and Epic Games, November 1998, Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Dreamcast, PS2)
If the solo FPS looks more and more like a Hollywood production, its multiplayer side is gradually approaching a sport. LANs are exploding, online gaming is made possible on a large scale with the democratization of Internet connections and the increase in their speed. Definitively breaking with the custom that wanted deathmatch, like co-op, to be a secondary mode added to a product intended to be played alone, Quake III and Unreal Tournament were pure multiplayer games, only PvP, offering only bots to keep lone players busy. Against Half-Life, of which they were the perfect complement, they established the second great pillar of the modern FPS: a brief and heavily written single-player experience, a multiplayer component based solely on competition. Neither changed much over the next two decades. It will be necessary to wait until 2016 and the return to grace of the fast-FPS, of which some curiosities like Serious Sam or Painkiller seemed to be the last descendants, so that the cards are finally reshuffled.
The other day, I was eating with people from my theater group. One of the girls started talking about her job as a pharmacist. It was really boring but it inspired me this little story. Good reading!
— Hello, I need a potion of… of…
I leave my register and gauge the client who continues to search for his words. His hands are nervous. Stuffed in his pockets, they move like puppets. Uncomfortably, his mine jumps from shelf to shelf, looking for a label that would have the courtesy to tell him what he is looking for. His eyes splay across his face, swampy globules that flutter like mosquitoes. I see that his big round jaw is directly connected to his neck, he chews in the void a desire to eat his lips so as not to admit his reason for being here. Probably the first time he has ventured into this kind of store. He reminds me of the last time I sold a toad transfiguration extract.
— You see… A potion for… for my… — They’re at the back of the store, next to the breast enlargement elixirs, you can’t miss them.
A feeling of embarrassment sets in. I feel like he wants to kiss me to thank me. I’m flattered, but I’d have to turn him into a dildo if he approaches me. He seems to grasp the silent threat and changes his mind, contenting himself with a bumbling thank you and a curtsey before trotting off in the direction indicated. I should consider putting up a sign with a rod as an arrow to help guide them.
— Hmm, hm! Good morning ! I turn around, and have to look down to notice a small boy with clenched fists. Her hair looks like an egg running down her skull. A rough mix of yellow and white with a flyaway streak right in the middle. He wears a bed sheet that he has recycled into a toga, giving him the appearance of a Roman senator. With his wrathful expression, I expect any second to be the subject of gladiator-style condemnation:
— Are you okay little one? You got lost ? — I’m seventy, moron! Get off your perch a bit so I can make you pay for the poison you sold me.
The hoarse and damaged voice of this baby face reminds me of something. I remember selling an extract to a face of the same kind covered with a hundred more wrinkles and spots. I should have teleported the shop to another city after the inventory.
— What is this about ? — As if you didn’t know that!
Two days ago, I came for a rejuvenation potion. I had unearthed a thirty-year-old godiche, not shy, I wanted to surprise her. You sold it to me guaranteeing me that I would find all my ardor, enough to make the bed shake… I drank the vial… Have you ever tried to fuck with a maggot as a sword? I feel it ready to attack me, it vibrates dangerously like dynamite just waiting to explode. However, one of the side effects of this drink is the possible transmission of rabies by oral contact. I should think about marking it on the manual for that matter.
— Madame was not satisfied with the product? — She burst out laughing when she saw me and knocked herself out on the edge of the bed.
— Nothing serious ?
— No idea, I just ran here to solve this problem. So, do you worry that I can find her then! I took viagra, and it’s starting to sting! Indeed, I see at the level of his crotch that the cocktail seems to do its work. — All I can recommend is to wait for the effects of the magic to wear off. A few hours should be enough.
— No, no, no and no! I want to get laid, damn it! To observe a child jumping around, mad with rage and chanting this has something unrealistic about it. For other customers. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the second of the day.
— You will find me a solution, immediately! The boy pulls out a gun and points it at me. I’m relieved, I don’t have the right to use witchcraft against an intrusive client, but the rule is quite different when I’m threatened. I smile, and snap my fingers. Immediately, a hole makes the floor disappear and swallows the youngster who lets out a cry of surprise. A few hours with his darkest fears should calm down. It reminds me of my childhood.
— Hello ! In front of me is a familiar-faced customer. The pricked nose, the plump eyes and the mouth which causes a small noise of wings each time he bites his lips. He looks like a penguin bobbing with his belly taut like a drum. I wonder if he uses the latter to make his vocalists by hitting on it. From his ridiculous clumsy stampings, he turns impatiently in all directions.
— What can I do for you ? You seem to me in a better mood.
I remember our discussions during his previous visit. The poor bird was persuaded to be cuckolded by his wife. Much smarter and funnier, apparently, he had managed to seduce her at the time thanks to his considerate unhealthy kindness. The problem is that this had had some perverse effects in their couple, in particular having a separate bedroom so as not to disturb the lady any longer because of her guttural snoring. Obviously, the sexual relations had become rare thereafter. Over time, gnawed by his fear of infidelity, he ended up coming to my shop to ask me for a polymorphism potion so that he could take on the appearance of a colleague of his wife with the airs of Adonis that he suspected of being her lover. From his good looks, I deduce that…
— Tremendous ! Everything is going much better with my partner thanks to you! — Glad to hear that. You could see for yourself that you were on the wrong track about it.
— Absolutely not ! This bitch was indeed cheating on me with this Gregory for months when I confronted him in this form. He keeps a radiant smile, I think I lost track somewhere. — I… And you… Are you all right?”
— If you knew ! We hadn’t made love like this for years! This savagery with which she straddled me… You cannot imagine. — But… At that moment, were you really under the appearance of the lover?”
— Whatever ! I realize that she can deceive me as much as she wants, since I am the person with whom she commits her crime. I’m not going to be jealous of myself, after all. There is indeed an implacable logic to such reasoning. However, something bothers me: — But… What about this Grégory?
His face takes on an embarrassed color:
— That’s why I need your help again. I need to renew my stock of potions… — To continue this adulterous relationship with yourself?”
— Not only … You see, after a whole night of passion with my companion, we began to discuss, at length. At dawn, we came to the conclusion that it was no longer possible for her to remain imprisoned in a marriage that made her so unhappy. So we decided that we had to kill her husband.
— So you ? — Not exactly… I have to admit that since I had the real Grégory kidnapped, he’s been a little cumbersome in my cellar. He moaned a lot, my companion could eventually find out and understand the pot of roses. So, I said to myself, why not transform it into myself, the time of the murder, in order to get rid of it with my wife as an accomplice? Clever, isn’t it? Thus, we will finally be free to continue our idyll as before.
Words fail me. I could judge him for this folly, but this little business could secure me a steady income with a client engaged in such a charade for years. And then, who am I to decree what is right or wrong? I’m just an ordinary small trader, after all. Nothing more.
And this is how Doom became such a social phenomenon
Doom to conquer the world | Love the cursed
Entirely self-published game, distributed in shareware (the first act was distributed free of charge and if you paid you received the rest of the game), Doom did not benefit from any advertising. But a few weeks after its release, when the first rave reviews from the specialized press are barely appearing, the game is already bringing in $100,000 a day for its creators. College and corporate computer networks are saturated with IPX packets generated by deathmatch games. It’s as if the whole world, in one voice, had begun to hum the first chords of the legendary “At Doom’s Gate”, which greets the player at the start of the first level.
Sold directly by its developer without distribution in major chains, intended for a platform, the PC, on which most users do not play (yet), Doom, unlike Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter or Super Mario, is not , in early 1994, a name known to the general public. This is, paradoxically, what will be its strength.
Cash… Commercially, first. The absence of a publisher allows id Software to keep most of the income generated by the game. The money flows into the coffers of the studio which, once its car park is completely filled with Ferraris, no longer knows what to do with it. Newly rich but aware of their origins – at best modest, at worst really difficult – the brats of id, each in their own way, do a series of good deeds. John Carmack bails out $100,000 bail for a former high school friend, a problem kid like him, who ended up in jail, and donates thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment to his old elementary school to “encourage the kids to experiment and not be satisfied with what is in the books”. Romero pays his grandparents a vacation and gives his old car to the owner of his favorite restaurant. Adrian Carmack buys a house for his mother to get her out of the rotten neighborhood where she lived for years.
Don’t imagine that the id team was made up of disinterested and naive nerds. The monstrous success of Doom is also the result of a diabolically efficient business model: not only can the first episode, shareware, be freely distributed, but shopkeepers are even encouraged to sell it in the form they want and to retain all profits. In one of the most incredible win-win deals in history, all video game shops and mail-order companies are therefore encouraged to sell for their benefit, without a penny to pay and at no cost other than the reproduction of the floppy disks and the packaging, the most prominent game of the moment – at the same time providing free publicity for id Software, from which hordes of conquered players then order two thirds of the absent game of the shareware version.
Big corporations, like IBM and Microsoft, watch in amazement as a bunch of 25-year-old kids in Metallica T-shirts succeed – they have no choice anyway: IT company executives spend their days of staging deathmatches on corporate networks instead of working, so much so that software designed to seek out and erase all copies of Doom installed on a system is beginning to appear – and wondering about its future. In a fairly correct intuition, which foreshadows the arrival of the GAFAs, in particular Google and Facebook, they wonder: are they not in danger of being overwhelmed, with their army of salespeople and their old-fashioned inventory management, in the face of to hyper-agile boxes, put together by a small group of nerds who know their customers and can directly supply digital copies of their products? Admittedly, id is in the business of desoldering monsters with virtual machine guns, but what will happen the day a company of this type offers a competing product to those of Microsoft? The day when the “information highways”, as they said then, will be able to transmit ten, a hundred, a thousand, a million times more data? While the general press largely continues to ignore the phenomenon, the economic magazine Forbes devotes a very serious article to id Software, presented as the prototype of what will be the entrepreneurial successes of the 21st century.
Trash… The specialized press, for its part, is full of praise. Compute admires an “incredible action game” that will change the idea of the PC forever. Electronic Games remarks that next to Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, released not even two years earlier, “looks like an antique”. The very serious The Guardian which, like Liberation in France, took an early interest in “digital cultures”, splits a brief article which evokes a game “not intended for children or sensitive people. As for Matt Firme of PC Gamer, he complains about a game that “stole his life” with its “hypnotically beautiful” graphics and is afraid of ending up like those people you meet on the BBS, who see their obsession with Doom cost them their marriage or their job. Some evoke the word “cyber-opiate” when they talk about the game, haloing even more with a scent of the forbidden a title already sulphurous by its violence and its theme – especially in a country like the United States, always quick to moral panics as soon as Satan rears his horns.
This is the second particularity generated by the shareware distribution of Doom, outside the traditional commercial circuits, carried only by word of mouth, almost “under the hood”: it contributes to giving the game a counter-cultural status. Like the name of metal or industrial groups, such as Nine Inch Nails (whose singer/composer/man band, Trent Reznor, is an absolute fan of Doom, to which he devotes his days between two concerts – he will also compose the Quake soundtrack), that of Doom is immediately recognized by insiders (PC gamers, hackers, nerd students who hang out on BBSs), but remains totally unknown to the rest of the population. Familiarity with the latter therefore becomes a mark of belonging to the beginnings of the Internet counter-culture, whose codes Doom takes up while helping to define them: violence, bad taste, obsession with action films and electric guitars – Doom is the synthesis, if not of the imagination of an entire generation, in any case of an emerging cultural group. The soundtrack by composer Bobby Prince, who has been widely derided for his borrowings (rumor has it that Prince, who was a lawyer before becoming staff composer for Apogee and then id Software, knew exactly how many bars of Pantera or Alice in Chains he could afford to reproduce without falling under the law), was no accident: Romero entrusted him with a stack of albums containing just about every rock hit from the 1980s and 90 for him to use as inspiration.
But Doom, above all, helps to give the kings of this new counter-culture, the video game programmers, a status close to that of rock stars. There were already famous programmers (one thinks of Richard Garriott from Origin, or Ken and Roberta Williams from Sierra), but none had played their status to such an extent. The personality of John Romero, who connects the LANs to the four corners of the country where, wearing an “I wrote it” T-shirt (“I wrote it”), he calls his opponents sons of bitches during frenzied deathmatches, has a lot to do with it – like every star since James Dean, he even has the right to a rumor claiming him dead in a car accident. The proximity of this new game to the works that monopolized the best places at the box office – action films and SF have been on the rise since the reorganization of Hollywood – contribute even more. Ivan Reitman, hyper-bankable director of the Ghostbusters, is optioning a film adaptation of Doom. The trash and metal counterculture is certainly violent, but the mainstream culture, too, is becoming more rock’n’roll, more ironic, more trashy, than it was in the past – and those who, by taste or out of prudishness, refuse to play according to the rules of the new generation, risk quickly passing for old-fashioned.
Thus, learning that the shareware version of Doom is installed on more computers than its new operating system that Microsoft wishes to make credible as a gaming platform, Bill Gates’ box has the idea of organizing a big Doom party on Halloween Day 1995. Under the impetus of Alex St. John, director of the fledgling DirectX project, and Mike Wilson, the creator of the online game platform DWANGO hired by id Software (he later co-founded Devolver Digital ), is organized an evening in total rupture with the atmosphere “light blue shirt” that we associate with Microsoft. Dozens of high-level deathmatchers are invited to face off, while the horrified club executives walk through a set created by the heavy metal band Gwar (accustomed to crazy stage performances, and commissioned by id Software for the deco) whose centerpiece is a giant plastic vulva adorned with dildos that act as teeth. Some guests wear a disguise imitating the antiheroes of Born Killers, the film at the heart of all the controversy in the mid-1990s. In the background, a trashy industrial rock band (friends of Mike Wilson), whose music was not to everyone’s taste, so much so that security ended up going on stage to disconnect the sound system, at the request of Microsoft employees. Highlight of the evening, the still famous video where Bill Gates, embedded in the decor of WinDoom (the Windows 95 port of Doom), kills an imp with a shotgun blast – a video produced at the initiative of St. John, who had all the trouble in the world to convince his boss’s public relations officers. At the end of the show, suddenly realizing what had just happened, Alex St. John is convinced that he will find a dismissal letter on his desk the next day. This will not be the case. Due to its economic weight, id Software’s teenage subculture had become tolerable.
And rock’n’roll. If the video of Bill Gates in a trenchcoat has something comical about it, other trenchcoats, very present in the news of the 1990s, quickly gave a darker connotation to the virtual shootings. Since day one, Doom has been subject to criticism. Its violence got it banned for sale in Brazil, and the presence of Nazi symbols in Doom 2’s secret levels (tributes to Wolfenstein 3D) results in it being banned in Germany, which doesn’t mess with these things- there. Even in his country of origin, Doom is not in the odor of holiness. Joseph Liberman, a Democratic senator from Connecticut who had been on a crusade for the regulation of video games since the release of Mortal Kombat and Night Trap in 1992, organized a series of hearings with the industry in 1993 which resulted in the creation of the ‘ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), responsible for assigning an age rating to games. The first PC title to be rated “mature” (not recommended for those under 17) was Doom 2. The first console title, the Super NES port of Doom. Paradoxically, finding oneself thus in the crosshairs and subject to the moral judgment of the authorities contributes to push certain publishers and developers – the most blatant example being Sony, which sees in it a means of distinguishing itself from the very politically correct Nintendo – to play thoroughly the card of provocation and violence.
This also contributes to the definition, this time negative, of the contours of the counter-culture of the 1990s, a mixture of depressive grunge played by the children of divorced people and relayed by MTV, with Satanist references and pixelated ultraviolence. Faced with this wave of black T-shirts, the concern of parents and American moral authorities, quick to see the trace of the devil in each disappearance of a child since the West Memphis Three (the nickname given to three young people wrongly accused, at the end of a botched investigation, of the ritual murder of kids in a lost corner of Arkansas in 1993), is growing throughout the decade. It reached its tragic climax on April 20, 1999, in a Colorado town called Littleton, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed thirteen high school students before turning their guns on themselves. “It’s gonna be like a fucking game of Doom!” shouts Eric Harris, author of a few WADs for Doom 2, in a video recorded shortly before the killing, where he brandishes a shotgun. When columnists and politicians search for the cause of this senseless act of violence, they find two culprits: a rockstar, Marilyn Manson, and a game, Doom. Never mind that Manson, unlike his mentor Trent Reznor, never had the slightest regard for video games, or that Harris and Klebold weren’t more “obsessive Doom players”, to use the words of the President Clinton (yes…), than the average boy of their age. It’s the same aesthetic, the same counter-culture, the same generation, necessarily dangerous. For better or for worse, the video game is no longer just a toy. He is, like jazz, rock and comics before him, one of the avatars of a new culture that will take the world by storm.
I’ve been dating someone for a few weeks now, a firefighter! His name is Theo and I think I like him! It’s been a while since I’ve felt this close to a man and frankly it feels so good. He is hearing and knew nothing about the world of the deaf and yet he immediately made the effort to learn a few words in sign language and he shaved his beard when he learned that it was difficult for me to read on the lips of bearded people without me telling him. that and several other details mean yes okay, I think I like more a little more than good!!! We are taking a new step today, I invite him to dinner at home. I’m both impatient and stressed out at the same time, so I’m trying to calm myself down a bit by writing you a cooking article.
So tonight I have planned a pistachio-crusted salmon:
Ingredients (for two people):
20cl + 1 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 salmon steaks (tuna is perfect for the recipe)
flower of salt
½ tsp of pink berries
First step: making the marinade.
Mix the lemon juice, 20cl of olive oil, percil,1 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of paprika. Marinate the fish for an hour
Second step: making a pistachio puree.
Mix half of the pistachios until you obtain a paste, make it more liquid with a tablespoon of oil. (if you add a little sugar you get a divine spread, better than nutella) Cover the fish with the pistachio paste
Third and last step: making the crust.
Crush the last pistachios with a knife, add the rest of the cumin and paprika then the pink peppercorns and finally roll your salmon in this breadcrumb. Add a little salt and bake for ten minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (392 farenheit)
For garnish :
I chose boiled potatoes and a tabbouleh salad with semolina, green beans, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Yes the quantities on my plate are rather meager but I would not want, by overeating, that the digestion would tire him a little too much for the rest of the evening… Well I’m off I still have a lot of little things to prepare. >.< Cross your fingers for me!
Take care of yourself and your loved ones and see you soon!